Tag Archives: dessert

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Cinnamon Whipped Cream 2

Traditional gingerbread –the cake, not the cookie, although those are good too — is one of my favorite desserts, but one I hardly ever get to eat. Gingerbread just feels like it should only be a Christmas dessert, and there are always so many treats around Christmas time, that this fabulously simple dessert sometimes gets bumped from the menu.

I think gingerbread should get a whole season of love, not just a single holiday at the busiest time of year. Pumpkin gets a full four months of love; gingerbread should get the same respect.

Gingerbread is a simple to make cake that is great alone, but also pairs wonderfully with a tart lemon sauce and cinnamon flavored whipped cream.

 

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Cinnamon Whipped Cream 4

RECIPE:

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Cinnamon Whipped Cream 2

Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce and Cinnamon Whipped Cream
(adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

Gingerbread:
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup molasses (NOT blackstrap: or use ½ cup blackstrap + ½ cup corn syrup)
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1 cup very hot water

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well blended. Add the egg, molasses and vanilla and mix again.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a separate bowl and use a whisk to mix well. Add to mixing bowl and mix well. Add the hot water and beat until smooth. Batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t overbake or the gingerbread will be dry.

Serve the gingerbread warm or at room temperature with lemon sauce and/or cinnamon whipped cream.

Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup powdered sugar


In a medium bowl, begin beating the whipped cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add the cinnamon and powdered sugar and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Lemon Sauce:
1 ½ cups sugar
3 Tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups cold water
½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 egg yolks
2-3 tsp grated lemon zest
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a medium saucepan, use a whisk to mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water and lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks until well mixed and then mix into saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in lemon zest, butter and vanilla. Cook until butter melts and then remove from heat. Serve warm.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (and Treats): Easy Homemade Caramels

Homemade Caramels

DAY 12: Homemade Caramels

Soft and chewy homemade caramels. This recipe uses sweetened condensed milk, so they come together faster than starting with a true caramelized sugar base. This method also produces very consistent results, with little chance of gritty caramels or seizing.

If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) sweetened condensed milk, try this recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce, and cook it to about 245°F.

The hardest part of making these is not popping one in your mouth every time you walk past their container.

This recipe (cooked to a lower temperature, about 235°F) can also be used to make a homemade filling for these Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints:

DSC05126-2

RECIPE:

Homemade Caramels

Homemade Caramels

1 cup unsalted butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract, or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ tsp sea salt

Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to hang over the edge on 2 sides.

Combine butter, sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, corn syrup and heavy cream in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Place a candy thermometer on the side of the pan. Reduce heat to medium low, maintaining a low but continuous simmer, until caramel reaches 245°F, stirring occasionally. This will take about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

Pour hot caramel into lined pan (do not scrape the sides of the cooking pan when you pour it into the square pan). Cool, uncovered, at room temperature until completely cooled and firm. Remove from pan and cut into pieces. Wrap individual pieces in waxed paper.

 

CARAMEL FILING OR SAUCE: To use as a filling for thumbprint cookies, or as a caramel sauce, cook caramel to 235°F (soft ball stage) for caramel filling, or slightly lower for a caramel sauce.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies (and other treats): Cinnamon Roasted Pecans

Cinnamon Pecans 2

DAY 3: Cinnamon Roasted Pecans

A simple recipe that makes great neighbor gifts. Fill a mason jar or clear treat bag and add a Christmas message for an easy gift that everyone loves!

RECIPE:

Cinnamon Pecans 2

Cinnamon Roasted Pecans

1 egg white
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups raw pecan halves
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
¼ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk egg white and vanilla in a large bowl until slightly frothy. Add pecans and stir until nuts are well coated.

Combine sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl until well mixed. Gradually stir into mixing bowl with the nuts, stirring constantly until pecans are coated evenly.

Spread onto lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula and return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove parchment paper (with the nuts still on it) and place onto a wire cooling rack. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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8th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Welcome to December and No Empty Chairs’ 8th Annual Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies Celebration!

DAY 1: Snow Capped Christmas Trees

These Christmas trees are an easy way to make a cute sugar cookie without the hassle of frosting and decorating. And they are easy to stack and store. You could dress them up with additional sprinkles, but I prefer the clean look of the green and white.

Cookie baking at Christmas is a long-held tradition in our home. Another great Christmas tradition is service. Check out this link for ways to Light the World this Christmas season through Christlike service over the next 25 days:

#LIGHTtheWORLD

 

Another great place to find ways to serve in your local community:

JUSTSERVE.ORG

 

RECIPE:

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond extract (optional)
3 eggs
7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Green food coloring
About 12 oz white chocolate, or white melting candy discs

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, butter, sour cream, vanilla and almond extract (if using). Beat in eggs. Add baking soda, salt and 5 cups flour, and beat until well mixed. Mix in a few drops of green food coloring. Beat in additional 2 ½ cups of  flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough and cut out with Christmas tree cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long. Cool on a wire rack.

Place white chocolate in a bowl at least as wide as the cookie sides you will be dipping. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until melted and smooth. Dip each edge of the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

Makes about 6 dozen cookies (using a 3″ cookie cutter)

 

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Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake 5

This is a fabulous, decadent cake made from layers of chocolate, raspberry and vanilla mousses on a brownie crust. It is not as sweet as a normal frosted cake, but the mousses are definitely rich and creamy. Serve this in small slices. A whole cake will go a long way, feeding at least 12-18 people.

I first made this cake with Little J about a month ago for my birthday, after seeing it on Sugar Hero. I made a few changes to it then, and then some more changes when I made it a second time for a church youth event. I still found the brownie layer to be much too rich in the first two versions of this recipe, so I tried yet again and am now happy with the results!

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake 4

The length of the recipe looks intimidating, but basically you are just making a one-bowl brownie layer, then repeating the mousse layer in three different flavors and topping with a simple chocolate ganache. I won’t lie: it does take ALL DAY to make. But that is mostly because there are a number of cooling/chilling steps, since the mousse layers each need to firm up before spreading on the next layer. And if you make your own raspberry puree, that adds more time to the process. Straining raspberry seeds is not one of my favorite things, but the result is definitely worth it.

The only special equipment you need to make this cake are a springform pan (or cake pan with removable bottom) and an acetate cake collar at least 4” high.

The final cake is taller than a regular springform pan, and you want the sides to be smooth, so a cake collar is a real help putting this together.

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake Cake Collar 1

You can make your own using parchment paper or foil, but it is hard to get it completely smooth. I used non-stick foil the first time I made this cake, and then bought some cake collars on Amazon for my next try at it. Here are the differences in final texture between the foil collar and real cake collar:

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse CakeChocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake 5

If you have an egg allergy, this is a perfect cake. The mousse layers contain no eggs at all. The brownie layer does contain an egg, but you could leave that layer off or use an egg substitute for that one egg. This dessert is also really pretty layered in parfait glasses. I made one parfait version for our chocolate-hating son, just layering the raspberry and vanilla mousses and fresh berries.

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake 6

 

RECIPE:

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake 5

Chocolate Raspberry Vanilla Mousse Cake
—————————–
(Inspired by Sugar Hero)

Brownie Layer:
¼ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
4 Tbs unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/3 cup flour

Chocolate Mousse Layer:
1 ¾ cups heavy cream, divided
6 oz (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
1 pkt (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
2 Tbs water
Pinch salt
t tsp vanilla

Raspberry  Mousse Layer:
1 ½ cups heavy cream, divided
6 oz (1 cup) white chocolate chips
1 pkt (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
2 Tbs water
Pinch salt
t tsp vanilla
1 cup Sweetened Raspberry Puree or seedless raspberry jam

Vanilla  Mousse Layer:
1 ¾ cups heavy cream, divided
6 oz (1 cup) white chocolate chips
1 pkt (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
2 Tbs water
3 Tbs powdered sugar
Pinch salt
1 vanilla bean
t tsp vanilla

Chocolate Ganache & Topping:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 Tbs corn syrup
3 oz (1/3 cup) bittersweet chocolate chips
1 pint fresh raspberries

Brownie Layer:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9” springform pan lightly with baking spray. Line bottom of pan with a round of parchment paper and then spray again with baking spray.

Place chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating until melted. Stir in sugar, salt and vanilla; mix well. Stir in egg and mix well. Stir in flour until just combined.

Spread into prepared pan and bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool completely.

Chocolate Mousse Layer:
Place ¾ cup of the cream in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until hot. Add chocolate chips to hot cream. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface of the water. Let sit while chocolate cools. Place remaining 1 cup cream, salt and vanilla in a large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin mixture for 15 seconds to melt gelatin; stir into chocolate. Pour chocolate mixture into whipped cream and beat briefly with a mixer to partially mix. Use a spatula to fold mousse until well mixed.

Place a 4” cake collar or a strip of non-stick foil around the inside of the springform pan. Spread chocolate mousse over the brownie layer, spreading to the edge of the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until mousse is firm.

Raspberry Mousse Layer:
Place ½ cup of the cream in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until hot. Add white chocolate chips to hot cream. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface of the water. Let sit while chocolate cools. Place remaining 1 cup cream, salt and vanilla in a large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin mixture for 15 seconds to melt gelatin; stir into chocolate. Pour white chocolate mixture and raspberry puree into whipped cream and beat briefly with a mixer to partially mix. Use a spatula to fold mousse until well mixed.

Spread raspberry mousse over the chocolate mousse layer, spreading to the edge of the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until mousse is firm.

Vanilla Mousse Layer:
Place ¾ cup of the cream in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until hot. Add white chocolate chips to hot cream. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the surface of the water. Let sit while chocolate cools. Place remaining 1 cup cream, salt, seeds from vanilla bean and vanilla in a large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin mixture for 15 seconds to melt gelatin; stir into chocolate. Pour white chocolate mixture  into whipped cream and beat briefly with a mixer to partially mix. Use a spatula to fold mousse until well mixed.

Spread vanilla mousse over the raspberry mousse layer, spreading to the edge of the pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until mousse is firm.

Chocolate Ganache & Topping:
Place cream and corn syrup in a Pyrex measuring cup and heat in microwave for 1 minute, or until hot. Add chocolate chips to hot cream. Let sit for 1 minute and then stir until smooth. Cool until a thick pouring consistency.

Remove sides of the springform pan. Run a sharp knife along the top edge of the vanilla mousse layer to keep it from sticking to the cake collar. Carefully remove cake collar. Remove cake from bottom of the springform pan and place on serving dish.

Spread the ganache over the top of the cake and allow to drip down the sides of the cake. Place fresh raspberries in the center of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Sweetened Raspberry Puree
12 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen (about 2 ½ cups of not-crushed fresh berries)
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
½ Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

In a heavy saucepan, combine raspberries, ½ cup water, sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, crushing berries slightly with the back of a spoon. Strain the berries through a fine sieve, pushing the pulp through the sieve with the back of a spoon or a pestle. Return seedless puree to the saucepan (rinse saucepan first if there are seeds clinging to the sides). Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; stir into puree in the saucepan. Return mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until slightly thickened and no longer cloudy. Cool before using.

Yield: about 1 ¾ cups seedless puree

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Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes

Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes 3

Don’t these cupcakes just scream “Autumn!” If the temperature were to drop below 80° I might be able to believe that fall had actually arrived. So maybe they are just screaming “Eat Me Regardless of the Season!”

Little J made these Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes for our neighborhood chili cook-off and kids’ bake-off. She made them completely on her own (except for some help making the salted caramel to drizzle on top). She did all of the baking and decorating herself, though. Her efforts paid off: she came home with the prize for best-tasting dessert! She was very excited.

2016-10-29 17.07.16

This pumpkin cupcake batter is extremely versatile. We have used it to make Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Bars, Pumpkin Sheet Cake, Pumpkin Bread. It adapts well to any size pan you choose to bake it in.

The frosting is a delicious caramel cream cheese icing. You start by making a simple caramel on the stovetop and then beating in cream cheese and a little extra powdered sugar. If you are going to pipe it onto cupcakes, it benefits from a good chill in the fridge to firm it up a little, followed by another beating with a mixer once it has chilled. So start your baking by making the frosting first and then move on to the cupcakes while the frosting chills.

The salted caramel drizzle is optional, but really makes a big difference. The recipe below makes much more salted caramel than you need to drizzle on the cupcakes, but it is also great for topping ice cream and chocolate cake. Or for dipping apples. Or for stirring into hot cocoa. Or for licking off of spoons. Or use your leftover caramel to drizzle over any of these other desserts:

Salted Caramel Banana Cream Pie

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Tart

Apple Pie

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

Vanilla Cheesecake

Double Chocolate Waffles

Cream Puffs

Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes 2

RECIPE:

Caramel Pumpkin Cupcakes 3

Pumpkin Caramel Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes:

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 16oz can of pumpkin (about 2 cups)
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin pans with 24 paper liners.

Using a mixer, beat eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla and pumpkin until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Fold into pumpkin mixture.

Scoop batter into lined muffin pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.Remove from pan and cool completely.

Use a pastry tip (I used Wilton 1M) to frost the cupcakes. Drizzle with salted caramel.

Store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator if they are going to be left out for more than a few hours.

Makes 24 cupcakes.


Caramel Cream Cheese Icing:

½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 pkg (8 oz each) cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup powdered sugar

Place butter, cream and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir together over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. While caramel is hot, beat in cream cheese, vanilla and salt until well mixed. Beat in powdered sugar. Cover and place frosting in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. When frosting has chilled, beat again until light and fluffy. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

Salted Caramel Drizzle:
1 cup sugar
6 Tbs butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized chunks
½ cup heavy cream
1 – 1 ½ tsp flaky or coarse sea salt
1 tsp vanilla (and/or seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean)

Place sugar in a medium to large saucepan (mixture will bubble up and expand as cool ingredients are added to the hot pan). Cook over medium heat until sugar just begins to melt. Stir gently, trying to keep sugar crystals off of the sides of the pan. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar melts completely and is a medium amber color (about 350°F if you use an instant-read thermometer). Reduce heat to low and quickly whisk in butter chunks, stirring constantly.

Stir in cream, stirring constantly until smooth. Stir in salt and vanilla. Pour caramel immediately into a glass jar or heat-safe bowl to cool. Do NOT scrape sides or bottom of the pan with a spatula. If you do, you are likely to get sugar crystals into your nice smooth caramel. If the caramel has formed crystals while cooking, you can pour it from the pan through a fine sieve into the jar to remove any crystals before cooling.

Caramel can be kept in a covered jar at room temperature for several weeks.

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A Birthday Experiment

Chocolate Raspberry Mousse Cake

Just wanted to give a little teaser of a recipe in progress. Next month I am making a couple of cakes for a church young women event. I wanted to try out a new recipe I hope to bring that night, and since Monday was my birthday, I figured that was as good of an excuse as any to try it out. Monday was also a holiday from school, so I enlisted Little J to help me. She was thrilled to help; she had been worried that with her two older sisters now gone at college, she would be on her own to come up with a birthday dessert for me.

This is not a traditional cake –in fact,  there is  no actual cake in it at all. It has a brownie base that is topped by chocolate, raspberry and vanilla mousses. It is not an especially hard cake to make, but is extremely time consuming, as there are long waiting periods throughout the assembly process.

We were pretty pleased with the result, although there are some additional changes I want to make to the recipe before I post it here. So you will have to wait until next month for the full revised recipe.

For anyone who lives close who would like to test it out for me, come on by! Since Little A won’t touch chocolate, there are only three of us left here to eat this enormous cake! (Don’t feel too sorry for him though- I am a sucker-mom and made him his own parfait out of the raspberry and vanilla mousses.)

It has been 4 days now, and we still haven’t made it halfway through. Help!!

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Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Rolls 2

The best way to start a 6:00am day? Homemade cinnamon rolls, of course.

Cinnamon Rolls 1

To keep your rolls light and airy, do not add too much flour to your dough, and knead only until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Because the dough is sticky, it needs to sit for a while in the refrigerator before rolling out the dough. To keep the rolls soft, I also roll my dough out on a buttered silicon mat (instead of a floured mat). Greased hands will help in handling the slightly sticky dough.

An easy way to cut your dough logs into rolls without crushing the dough and having the knife stick to the dough is to use dental floss (not mint!) or a strong sewing thread. See THIS POST for more details.

This recipe makes a lot: 36  large rolls. You can scale the recipe back if you don’t want as many OR Rolls can be frozen either after or before cooking.

To freeze before cooking: Prepare dough. Fill and roll dough into log. Slice into rounds and place each round on a foil lined baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid and then place in Ziploc bags and return to freezer. Place frozen rolls in prepared pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2-3 hours). Bake and frost as directed.

RECIPE:

Cinnamon Rolls 2

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

2 ½ cups buttermilk*
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp salt
9 – 9 ½ cups flour, divided
1 ½ Tbs instant yeast

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2-3 Tbs cinnamon

Place buttermilk, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl (stand mixer) and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Mix in eggs and salt. Add 4 cups of flour and the yeast and mix until smooth. Add additional 5 cups of flour and knead until smooth. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough that barely pulls away from the edge of the bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough with plastic wrap touching the dough and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes, or until the dough is chilled and not sticky when touched.

Lightly butter rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” pans. Mix brown sugar, white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Divide dough into two halves. On a lightly buttered surface, pat each dough half into a rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) on each dough half and sprinkle with half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Starting from long edge, form a roll. Pinch long edge to seal. Use a knife to lightly score dough into 18  sections about 1” apart. Place a strand of dental floss under the dough and cross over the top of the dough at the scored marking. Pull dental floss to cut through dough log. Place in prepared pan. Cover with a thin towel and allow rolls to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Spread warm rolls with cream cheese glaze.

Makes 36 rolls

*Buttermilk substitute: Scald 2 cups milk (bring to boiling point) and stir in ½ cup plain yogurt

 

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz cream cheese
6 Tbs heavy cream
3-4 Tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Use a hand mixer to mix all of the glaze ingredients. Add additional milk or cream if needed to make a smooth glaze.

 

To freeze rolls before cooking: Prepare dough. Fill and roll dough into log. Slice into rounds and place each round on a foil lined baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid and then place in Ziploc bags and return to freezer. Place frozen rolls in prepared pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2-3 hours). Bake and frost as directed.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Candy Cane Snowball Cookies

Candy Cane Snowball Cookies

DAY 11: Candy Cane Snowball Cookies

These cute cookies come from Inside Bru Crew Life.

The cookies themselves are not at all sweet, but with the addition of the melted white chocolate and crushed candy canes, you end up with just the right amount of sweetness.

Great cookies for peppermint fans.

RECIPE:

Candy Cane Snowball Cookies

Candy Cane Snowball Cookies
(adapted from Inside Bru Crew Life)

½ cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar (don’t pack tightly)
1 egg
½ tsp peppermint extract
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
2 ¼ cups flour
4 oz white candy melts
8 whole candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease baking sheets, or use silicone mats.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg and peppermint and vanilla extracts. On low speed, beat in flour and salt.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and bake on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Place white candy melts in a small microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for 30 seconds; stir. Add 20-30 seconds if not completely melted. Dip the tops of the cookies into the melted chocolate and then roll in crushed candy canes. Place on waxed paper to harden.

Makes about 3 dozen.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 2

DAY 4: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These should be called “Super-Easy-One-Bowl-No-Mixer-I-Forgot-To-Make-Cookies-For-The-Bake-Sale-Tomorrow-Don’t-Even-Have-To-Soften-The-Butter-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-Bars”

They are that easy.

These cookies will stay nice and chewy (without burnt edges and soggy middle) if you bake them in two 8×8” pans instead of one 9×13” pan.

Since we have one non-chocolate eater, I usually prepare the batter without the chocolate chips, put half of the batter in one pan and sprinkle the top with cinnamon/sugar. Then stir some chocolate chips into the remaining batter and put the chocolate chip version in the other pan.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 1

RECIPE:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars 2

Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup butter
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8” square baking pans (or spray with Baking Pam).

Melt butter in a large bowl in the microwave. Stir sugar and brown sugar into melted butter until incorporated. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Stir in the  flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pans.

Bake at 350°F for 28-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and then cut into squares.

Makes 32 bars

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